Category: Motherhood

Being a mama has given me such happiness and purpose. It’s also given my grey hair, tenancies towards over-protectiveness, and weight gain! All good though, my babies more than make up for the little things that will never be the same again. Because I was born to be a mother, and I love to share my journey!

So…raising a daughter. About that.

I never thought about the intricacies of it when I was pregnant and daydreaming about being my little girl’s best friend and braiding each other’s hair. Although for the record, we really do braid each other’s hair. Once she started growing up and maturing, life hit me in the face with a bag of rocks. Newsflash: raising a daughter is serious business. Laila has always been far too smart and mature for her own good. I know, I know…everyone says that about their children. “Oh he’s way too advanced for that class and he’s just bored, that’s why he has a D” or “She leads the pack, it’s not her fault that the other girls are being bullies around her! She isn’t the one participating”! No. I know what my daughter’s strengths and weaknesses are, and she is one smart cookie. What I worry about is that she will go down a bad road, or be taken advantage of, or just lose herself in the sea of hormones and expectations that the tweens and teens inevitably brings on.

I started noticing that Laila was too mature for her own good about two years ago. Flash back to my six year old daughter asking me about bras and makeup and generally things that no six year old has any business worrying about. I did have a moment of internal panic…have I been too uncensored in front of her? Have I been too candid to where she’s picked up on things outside of her pay-grade? Whatever the answer is, I took note. It was becoming more and more apparent to me that when she was allowed to play with makeup and nail polish, she wasn’t feeling “pretty like Mommy”, she was feeling GROWN. That’s a dangerous thing in my opinion, and the reason that I take raising a girl so seriously. I remember what it was like to be a tween and feeling these things: I got to play with makeup and all of a sudden, I felt 16 and fabulous.

Luckily I was fairly sheltered and I didn’t get set loose on the world looking like Tammy Faye Baker, but you get my point.

I’ve been so worried lately about how to raise Laila! How to make sure that she is kind, living up to her full potential, perceptive, aware…all of the things! Are her new chokers that she got for Christmas too grown? Is that enough coverage for a sleeveless shirt? SHIT, I got her little cupcake lip glosses because they were cute, and they’re so pigmented!!!! I realized that I was spending so much time saying NO to her and bringing down the hammer that I wasn’t saying anything nice and uplifting. I wasn’t spending time with her and just doing Mommy-Daughter things.

So I’ve decided to split my focus. Worry less about appearances (not too much less, put that lip gloss away girl!) and more about being intentional and coaching. It’s not just makeup that makes her feel “grown”, it’s the ignorance to what being grown really is! Thankfully she is smart enough to understand that when I sat her down and spoke to her about the joys of being 8, not 18. I have a long way to go with her, and LAWD KNOWS that I am dreading middle and high school. But I’m going to make my focus more about her behavior and (a little) less about appearances. I hope that when she is older we will be biffles for life, but right now is just not the time to be my daughter’s friend. Hopefully she appreciates that when she is actually grown.

I’m alive, I promise!

I talked all that trash about taking a break from social media while still blogging…and I did the exact opposite. Weird how that happens, huh? I mean, the first two weeks of the new year just shouldn’t count towards the fresh start in my opinion. We’re all scrambling to catch up from slacking off during the holidays, trying to get our shit together to log in a work out, or maybe just in a general post holiday haze. I’m all of the above! Anywho, I’m back for good with lots of rambling posts planned. But today is all about how absolutely freaking disgusting my eight year old’s room was when I decided to clean it this morning. Not kidding, I cleaned up empty Capri Sun pouches, what seemed like 9,000 craft beads, dozens of American Girl doll accessories, hunks of old dried modeling clay…and a partridge in a pear tree.

Homemade Chalkboard for Children's Room - Best quote!

I painted this chalkboard two years ago. I found the quote online randomly, and I loved it so much! I’ve gotten a bit better with my chalk art, but I can’t imagine repainting it now! Read: I’m too lazy.

Seriously, y’all! Laila is the complete opposite of me. She will hoard even the tiniest of scrap papers for it’s “sentimental value”, while I’ll throw anything away to have a clean house. I can’t with the clutter and junk everywhere, so I tend to stay out of her room. I know how much I valued having my own space and privacy as a child (because I never did!) and I try to give Laila room to grow and be herself. But DAMN, home girl sure knows how to wreck a room. Enter the bad cop Mom, with a trash bag and entire bottle of Thieves cleaner. I went to town; three hours later, we have a clean room!!! I took pictures to show some fun projects I did three to five years ago when I put her room together, and also to preserve the whole thirty minutes that her room looked like this. “Tornado Toddler” Carson was waiting in the wings to destroy it right after I snapped my last picture. It’s way more fun playing in Sissy’s room, right?

DIY Girl's Room Decor

I bought the bedding from Pottery Barn Kids about five years ago…I’m a sucker for the Princess and the Pea themed print. Starting to think about redoing her room now that she is nearing the Tween years…Lawd help me!

DIY Tissue Poms for a girl's room!

I made the pom-poms years ago, maybe five? The heart canvas used to be an owl print from Target. I spray painted it with glitter and gold, and used acrylic pink paint for the heart!

DIY Girl's Room Decor - Pink and Gold Glitter

We purchased the wood letters and frame from Michael’s and just spray panted them! I kept the two shades of dark/light pink consistent throughout her room, as well as the glittery gold. We also refinished this Craigslist find dresser with cabinet paint and Anthropologie drawer pulls that I found on sale. Her West Elm desk and chair was an UBER lucky estate sale purchase and it’s my favorite!

DIY Dresser Rehab and other DIY Girl's Room Decor

This dresser was a lucky Craigslist find – Solid wood and only $30!! We used white cabinet paint leftover from our kitchen reno (more on that later) and bought the knobs on sale from Anthropologie. I reused an old canvas painting for the glittery gold and pink flower, and she requested the 2017 banner that I used this NYE. It’s gold sequins and matches her decor perfectly! And obviously, the Home Diffuser, her only electronic in the room.

DIY Girl's Room Decor and Chalkboard Art

I bought the wood heart and blank “chalkboard” sign from Hobby Lobby. I sprayed glittery gold on the heart, and used a metallic gold oil-based paint sharpie to write out the sign!

Laila IS like me in that she loves to read. Madeline is one of my favorites, I read the French versions in middle school when I starting taking my first French classes. I want her to love French as much as I do, but so far she is very “EH” to it. 🙂

Banks literally sat there for hours and just watched me clean…didn’t even offer to help!

Pecan Pie Bar Recipeimg_5781

I’ve been doing a lot of planning for Thanksgiving Dinner decor and putting together our menu. I’m hosting a total of 22 people in my home this Thursday, which means two things:

1. We need a lot of food, and
2. It’s about to go down!

I finally figured out the seating, place settings and decor, and now all that’s left is the menu!! I do know one thing for sure: I will most definitely be making Pecan Pie Bars, one of my favorite recipes from my grandmother Mamaw Anderson. She is such an amazing cook! One of the things I love to do with my kids is let them bake with me, and it’s one of their most favorite activities. It can be tricky letting kids help in the kitchen, so there are a few things I always do to help the process.

-PREP-

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I like to prep all of the ingredients beforehand. Eggs cracked, sugar measured, butter cut up…you get the drift! This way they get to help with the fun stuff and don’t have to wait around for me to do the boring work.

-SPLIT JOBS-

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If you have more than one child, I’m sure you know that you can NEVER have uneven fun. If Laila gets something Carson doesn’t and vice versa, it’s a holy-freaking-nightmare meltdown. I give each of them a job to do in turns, that way it’s always even and they’re both happy.

-POUR and STIR-

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It seems so silly, but their jobs are literally to dump out the measuring cups and help me stir. That’s honestly all they can do at these ages. Sometimes they get to help me hand mix and they always have a blast doing it! I’ve even sat down on the floor with them and let them make brownies on the ground so they don’t have to get on stools. Laila still talks about that day!

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I’ve never had a really big sweet tooth, but Pecan Pie has always been my #1. After years of begging for her recipe, my grandmother finally shared it with me as a present at our
engagement party, along with all of the kitchen tools and dishes to make it. And as a Thanksgiving gift, I’m sharing it with you! I make these every year during November, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Let me know if you made them and how they turned out!

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Mary Ruth Anderson’s Pecan Pie Bars

Ingredients

 – 2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

3/4 c. firm butter, cut up into cubes

1 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1 c. light corn syrup

1/2 c. butter

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 1/2 c. finely chopped pecans

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in 3/4 butter thoroughly with a pastry blender until mixture resembles very fine crumbs. Press mixture into a greased 13″ x 9″ pan, using a piece of plastic wrap to press crumb mixture firmly into pan bottom and 1 1/2″ up sides. Bake at 350 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool while making the filling.

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 c. butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, while gently stirring. Remove from heat, stir 1/4 mixture into eggs to temper; add remaining to hot mixture and mix in vanilla and pecans. Pour filling over crust and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until set. Cool completely, cut into squares, and enjoy!